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Creating your First Successful Facebook Ad Campaign – Part I: Color

January 29, 2015 | Marketing Strategies

So far we have taught you how to pick the best Facebook paid ad strategy for your campaign, and given you a step-by-step playbook in creating the perfect Facebook Ad. Now we are providing you with an in-depth three-part series that goes deep into the psychology of Facebook marketing.

Part I will focus on color and provide you with greater insights on which colors you should be using for your ads, what to avoid and how to correctly implement them in you each ad.

Color psychology – does it really matter?

Hell yes!

Most likely you’re using Facebook to advertise, In marketing, the goal is to ignite a reaction within the person who is viewing the ad. This reaction can be to get them to buy, feel a certain way about your brand or hand over their details to become a lead. Color helps you achieve this by tapping into the unconscious part of the human brain.

It has been proven by science that different colors affect humans in different ways, and who can argue with science? To throw out some examples, red has been proven to excites us while green makes us feel more relaxed, depending on the message of your ad, using either color can increase your conversions.

At the very most the average person will stare at your Facebook Ad for less than a second. As a marketer you must draw on every weapon (including color) in your arsenal to achieve your desired result, the odds are against you.

Just to show you how pivotal color is in advertising, read this article which shows how mealy changing the color of a link can boost conversions by 60%.

Picking the right color

Sadly, there is no one ‘go to’ color which is best to optimize for conversions, but there are a set of preferred colors that have been proven to ignite reactions within most people. They are:

Blue – Is known for creating a sense of trust and security, and is most people’s favorite color for both genders and all age-groups. Studies have shown that using lighter tones of blue give off a calming effect while darker tones are correlated with professionalism.

When to use – If you’re selling a product or service which caters to everyone with no age or gender demographic, blue is the way to go. Blue is used by many IT companies such as HP and Capgemini to represent intelligent, creativity and professionalism. If this is how you wish to brand your business or advert, go for blue.

HP

Don’t use blue to promote food as most link the color with spoilt food and illnesses. There are very few foods that are naturally blue, going with green or brown would be the smarter choice.

Tip: Facebook’s theme is blue and white, incorporate blue with other colors such as red or yellow as you want your ad to stand out, not to blend in with their theme.

Green – Is associated with the environment, money, health and positivity. Green requires very little adjustment from our eyes making it the ideal color to get people to engage with your ad.

When to use – Teal green has been proven to help target shoppers on a budget and is ideal for special discounts or creating offers using Facebook Ads. Promoting foods using green plays on the subconscious mind making us think it’s healthy and tasty.

Green is the easiest color for the human eye to process, we suggest using it with a CPM bidding model to get more eyes on your ads.

Purple – Has been linked with femininity, wealth and peace. Purple is the second favorite color for women and studies show the older women get, the more they like purple.

When to useWe suggest using purple if the product or service you’re offering is only targeting women, as purple is one of the least desirable colors for men, according to a John Hallock study. If your ad’s message is to show others how to generate wealth, become more happy or relating to femininity, go with purple and monitor the results.

Red – Is the color of fire, passion, negativity, mistakes, urgency and excitement. It can be a tricky color to pull off in adverts but can provide massive results if used in the right way.

When to useWe don’t suggest using red as the primary color of your ad because it’s just too aggressive and comes across as being too pushy. Instead, segment a part of your ad such as the CTA, or border in red.

Stop

If you want your ad to give a sense of urgency, for example, a limited time offer or a solution to a problem people face in their lives, red is a good option. Red is known to activate the ‘fight or flight’ instinct in humans, perfect for ads that are urging people to take action immediately.

Black – Screams power, smartness, sophistication and luxury. Black should rarely be used with similar colors in the spectrum such as grey, brown or tan as it reduces the impact of the color.

When to useIf you’re selling high-end products, marketing luxury or want to create a sincere brand image, then consider black. Black does not work well with fun or excitement, choose red instead.

Orange – Signifies the sun, brightness and is the most frequently used color for CTAs. While a popular color for increasing conversions, too much orange can make your business look unprofessional and tacky.
Download

When to use – Orange is actually one of the least favorite colors for both men and women, so we suggest using it only around your CTA or borders. Don’t make orange the main color of your ad as it’s most likely going to put people off.

Any there any colors to avoid?

Referring back to the Joe Hallock study, it’s quite clear that yellow, brown and orange are the least favorite colors for men and women. Yellow is linked to a number of things including confidence, optimism and creativity. However, it’s also linked to fear, depressions and suicide. Yellow is a bright color and can sometimes be hard to process for our eyes when viewing from an electronic device.

Brown triggers warmth, earthiness and nature in the human mind, it’s also associated with lack of sophistication and no humor. These are not necessarily colors to avoid, but use them with caution and be sure to test them alongside other colors to see what converts best.

If your ad is promoting self-help and optimism, test our yellow, if it’s related to the environment or healthy food, consider brown.

Understanding contrast and mixing colors

There are a thousand of shades of red, yellow, green, purple and so on. The contrast of colors and arrangement affect our brains in many ways. For example, green and white indicate positivity, order, environment (think of the recycle and exit signs). Yellow and black indicate worry, caution and panic (think bees and radio active waste signs).

Radio active

The size, type and color of the font can also affect the success of your Facebook campaign dramatically. How do you know which size or color works best? Testing of course!

When to useThis one should be easy. Ads that are aimed to show a sense of urgency should be using colors that promote that. To provide an example, red and white is great to indicate urgency, danger and to act immediately, that’s why the colors are used on stop signs and fire alarms.

Brightness and shades

Kissmetrics did a very interesting study on how men and women react to colors. It showed that men prefer brighter colors while women liked softer tones. When it came to shading and tints, men preferred the former and women the latter. Shade is any color which has black added to it while tinting has white added.

When to use – If you’re advertising to a single gender, it makes sense to use bright colors and shades for men and soft colors and tints for women. But what if you want to target both markets? Create two adverts!

Create one advert which will only been seen by men using bright colors and shading, and a second one for women with soft colors and tints. Remember, Facebook Ads allow you to segment who views your ads by gender.

Summary

We hope this article has given you a much deeper understanding about the psychology of colors and how you can use them in your next Facebook Ad. Be sure to always test colors, shades and contrasts to find out the most optimal way to engage with your market.

Don’t assume that every CTA needs to be orange because it’s been proven to be the most effective, or you must use the color purple when advertising to women or blue with men.

Every business is a unique organism with a different customer base, what works for one may not necessarily work for the next. This article should be used as a template to give you an idea on which colors aim to do what. It’s your job to test and play around to get the best possible results.

Do you have any questions or feedback? Feel free to leave a comment below.

James Dickerson

Founder of CrushCampaigns

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